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With the holiday season quickly approaching, trucking companies are preparing for increased theft activity. Follow along for quick tips on how to prepare your company for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Increasing thefts

Most cargo theft activity occurs during the closed, non-business hours at unsecured trucking terminals and drop lots. Thieves conduct surveillance and develop patterns before breaking into trucking yards during the weekend hours. If the trucking yard or drop lot does not have onsite security personnel or an alarm system, then thieves will operate under the cover of darkness to evaluate the freight. Organized cargo groups prefer food and beverage shipments because they are difficult to trace, but they will steal just about anything.

Drivers often drop trailers at a drop lot or unsecured truck stop without permission. Your security policy should prohibit drivers from taking trailers to a private residence or unsecured drop yard during off-duty time, including holidays.

Implement best practices

Drivers must remain vigilant to protect customer freight and company assets, and this is especially true during the Thanksgiving holiday when many carriers are closed from Thursday through Sunday. The American Trucking Associations and various industry security councils indicate that the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is associated with the highest number of cargo thefts each year.

Fleets can deter theft by implementing the following security polices during closed hours:

  • Ensure trailers are docked, butted, and blocked at the terminal
  • Utilize kingpin locks for trailers that contain high-value freight
  • Ensure that alarm systems are functional by conducting weekly tests
  • Utilize GPS technology to geofence equipment on the yard
  • Create security awareness training for drivers

Do not wait until the last minute

Consider hiring a security guard company to protect your assets and customer freight. To avoid chaos near the holiday weekend, evaluate vendors weeks in advance and set realistic expectations with the onsite guard. Security professionals should also test perimeter alarm systems in advance of the holiday weekend. Unfortunately, many carriers wait until the last minute, and alarm vendors are not always able to service the systems prior to the shutdown.

Enhanced yard lighting and perimeter fencing work together to deter theft. Conduct perimeter checks and repair any holes in fencing and ensure that all yard lights are operational. Many carriers request extra patrols during holiday weekends, so reach out to local law enforcement and ask for an increased presence during the extended weekend.

Key to remember: Begin preparing now to avoid being a victim during the busiest theft weekend of the year.